Lockdown certainly has some very strange effects. We become obsessed with baking banana bread and we’re all addicted to online shopping. However, have you ever stopped to think about how lockdown affects our pets?
Dogs are extremely receptive and they pick up on human emotions and changes in routine very easily. Lockdown certainly affects both of those things, and you being at home a lot more than you normally would be has probably affected your dog’s wellbeing in ways that you might not have considered.
Whilst we all hope that lockdown will be over soon, it’s interesting to explore it whilst we’re still in the middle of it. Let’s look at how lockdown affects dogs and their owners as a whole.
Owners And Their Dogs Become More Active
The simple fact that the only real reason to go out is for exercise means that owners take the time to head out with their dog for longer walks and enjoy plenty of play time. This is advantageous for the dog because they also become more active and get the exercise they need, whilst enjoying time with their owner. This helps to strengthen that precious bond.
Dogs Help Their Owners to Handle Emotions And Mental Health
Dogs are known to be fantastic for calming and making you feel less stressed. Just spending some time with your loyal companion is enough to make your cares drift away. Lockdown is hard on mental health; it’s a worrying time and being inside and away from your loved ones takes its toll. Spending more time with your dog can help with this, and both the owner and dog act as a support system for one another.
Dogs May Show Challenging Behaviour
Despite the fact that your dog is probably loving the fact you’re home more often than normal, any change in routine is going to affect them. They may start acting out to get your attention or simply to try and work out what is going on. It’s important for owners to set a routine and stick to it as much as possible. Of course, a routine will also help the owner.
Dogs May Experience Separation Anxiety
When you do go out of the house, e.g. shopping, your dog may show signs of separation anxiety because they’re used to you being by their side practically 24/7. Also, when lockdown ends, it’s important to slowly get your dog used to you being out of the house again, to try and minimize these impacts. Dogs can worry and fret away whilst you’re not home and this could be extremely damaging for their health and wellbeing.
One of our lovely customers Vicki shared a very useful tip with us and we thought it would be beneficial to share with you – @vixy76
“Arnie panics hugely when I’m out of his sight. When I used to go out to the office, we have a stuffed fake Ma that wears my clothes and smells of me, he curls up next to her all day.
I made her out of an old duvet, some pillows, two pairs of tights and then I sleep on a pillowcase case so that it smells strongly of me, and then wrap that and around her. If we go anywhere, we pop her on the sofa and if we check the camera, there he is laid next to his lady friend!” – Absolutely brilliant idea, we will definitely be trying this with our Otis! Will you?
Lockdown has certainly been a strange and challenging experience and it affects us in ways we might not realise at the time. It’s important to remember that your dog picks up on your emotional changes and their own confusion as to why you’re suddenly home more than normal. The good news is that the challenges of lockdown can be handled together, both owner and dog as one.